“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges. [a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life. – Ex 21:2-6
Here God give instructions on how to treat servants. Imagine what it would be like to be the male servant. Somehow you come to be owned by your master. You come alone. Somewhere while you are serving, you marry and have kids, all while still a servant. After 6 years, your time is up and you are set to go free. You can walk out as a free man. One hitch: you can’t take your wife of kids. However, you can stay with them if you agree to serve your master; for the rest of your life.
Choice time. Freedom or captivity?
What would it have been like to be a man in that situation? What if your master was cruel? Could you really leave your wife and child? My guess is that if some did leave, they found that freedom was not really freedom at all. I can imagine a man telling his master “I love my wife and family. I will serve you as long as I can breathe.” The master would then take the servant to the doorpost and stick an awl through his ear. A pierced ear would be the sign of a life servant.
I wonder what the future would have been like for the servant family. Maybe there were times when they fought. Maybe huge fights. Maybe the wife would say “You don’t care for me. Where are you when I need you? You don’t love me. You never really have.”
I would imagine the man would look at his wife, maybe even his kids. I would imagine that he would slowly and silently point to his pierced ear.
Sometimes I come to God and complain. “I think you love me, but I really wonder sometimes. I need you but it seems like you are not around when I need you. Have you ever REALLY loved me.”
I imagine Christ would look at me. I imagine that he would slowly point to his pierced hands.
[tags]life-journal, devotions, Christ, servant, Exodus, love[/tags]